New Year’s in SydneyAngela | January 2nd, 2006 | 7:21 pm
In a word: spectacular.
Probably the most spectacular we’ve ever seen, at least from a fireworks perspective, and we’ve seen fireworks in half a dozen major cities. It easily outdid any 4th of July.
Eric and I had quite an extensive evening, catching the train up to the north side of the harbor at Kirribilli to watch the early show. My workmate, Lauren, and her boyfriend, Geoff, and a passel of their family and friends were camped out on a stretch of grass under the gigantic pylon at the north side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They had arrived earlier that afternoon to guarantee a good spot, and we were grateful to take advantage of their squatters rights.
Below the Sydney bridge near Milson’s Point
The Tan sisters
Everyone brought picnic fare to share and we chatted and watched the growing crowd as we waited for sunset. The city puts on an early fireworks show at 9pm (remember, it’s summer here) for the families and kids, and then another, more extravagant version at midnight. We stayed only for the early show, which was really fantastic in its own right, and in any other city probably would have been sufficient entertainment for the evening.
Waiting for the fireworks to begin
The city had chosen an I “heart” NYE theme (a play on the I Love NYC logo) and the Harbour Bridge was festooned with a giant lighted heart that throbbed. All of the boats in the harbour were prettily decorated with lights and red hearts, and the fireworks themselves included heart shapes and lots of red colors. Identical sets of fireworks were sent off of barges on either side of the bridge, which I surmised allows an unobstructed view from either the east or the west (it’s a damn big bridge).
Fireworks off a barge in Sydney Harbour
Sydney Opera House and a passing boat
A view from below the Sydney Bridge
Then we followed the families back up to the train station and came back to Surry Hills so that we could watch the midnight show from Beaver’s apartment with Manuel and David and David’s sister’s family. We had a good vantage point for seeing the fireworks over the city skyline, and plenty of cold champagne on hand. The midnight show has the added feature of sending fireworks off of the Harbour Bridge itself, in addition to the barges in the water, and they completely illuminate and magnify the arched span of the enormous 1932 art deco steel structure (the world’s largest steel arch bridge and known locally as the “coathanger.”) It was truly goosebumps-producing, and by the time it was finally over, there was a pall of smoke obscuring the entire skyline.
Smoke envelopes the city after the fireworks finale
A very impressive New Year’s celebration, and fun to celebrate it in 2 places. Happy 2006!
You can view these and all the other photos of our evening in higher resolution on our photo gallery site.